I’ve been on my healing journey since my late teens. After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I needed to find positive ways to manage it. However, I didn’t truly get serious about healing until 2020. I went through a breakup that left me scarred and I knew it was time for me to make a change. I began to tap into my spirituality which led me down a path of discovering who I am, connecting with the Divine, learning to love myself, and healing what needed to be mended.
I embarked on a journey that has opened my eyes and compelled me to continue sharing my experiences with others. I’ve realized the power of words and that my writing has the ability to help others as they navigate their journeys.
When I talk about doing the work, I’m referring to taking action towards healing and improving yourself. I’m talking about taking steps to become your highest self. It’s a quest that revolves around healing and self-love. When you’re healing, you’re constantly doing the work. Healing doesn’t stop, although sometimes breaks are necessary. In life, there will always be something that we need to heal from. This work is a huge commitment and will likely be going on for the rest of your life.
This journey involves a process of deep introspection and turning inward. It’s about peeling back your layers, unpacking your baggage, and healing trauma and childhood wounds. It’s important to know that the way you approach your healing will look different from others who are doing the work.
How to Do the Work to Heal
Some people hear “doing the work” and aren’t sure where to start. There are numerous ways to begin the process and again, your journey will look different from others. Let’s look at some ways you can being to do the work to heal.
I’m a huge advocate for therapy because I’ve witnessed how life-changing the right therapist can be. Working with a therapist can help you manage your mental health as well as heal from your hurt.
In therapy, you’ll have a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings while your therapist guides you through processing them. They will help you work through whatever it is you’ve been experiencing. All the pain, anger, baggage, trauma, etc., can be worked through in therapy.
If you’re new to therapy, it’s important to remain open-minded and know that if the first therapist you see isn’t a good fit, you can try again with someone new.
2. Shadow Work
Shadow work is the process of working with the dark part of ourselves also known as our shadow self. It’s about digging deep and uncovering the parts of ourselves that we suppress and ignore. It allows us to heal from past trauma and anything that we’ve buried deep within us.
Shadow work also gives you the opportunity to confront certain elements of your shadow self such as jealousy or anger.
There are different ways you can do shadow work. Four of these include:
- Journaling – There are various shadow work journal prompts you can find online and even books you can purchase. These prompts will assist you in exposing what you’re holding on to as well as some of the different emotions or behaviors your shadow self exhibits.
- Meditating – Meeting with your shadow self through meditation can be very beneficial. Utilize guided meditations to help you sit with your shadow self.
- Practicing self-awareness – Become aware of your shadow self. Notice what triggers your shadow. Pay attention to your triggers and try not to react out of emotion.
- Practice self-compassion – Even though our shadow self is referred to as the dark side of ourselves, there’s no need to shame this part of us. Show yourself patience, love, and self-compassion as you work with your shadow. Work on acceptance as well.
I believe that having a journaling practice is essential to everyone’s healing journey. We all need a space to release our thoughts and feelings.
I began journaling when I was very young. It has always been a way for me to vent about whatever is going on in my life and has always been a deeply healing experience for me.
There’s so much healing that happens when we write everything down.
I mentioned meditation earlier but I feel like it’s worth bringing up again. Meditation is a powerful tool to have on your healing journey. I started out by doing guided meditations which have been vital to my healing.
Meditation has been proven to have numerous benefits when it comes to healing and working on yourself. Sitting with yourself, observing your thoughts and feelings, and working through anything that may be bothering you is important for repairing what needs to be mended.
5. Be Patient
My therapist always tells me healing doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t expect to start doing this work and immediately be healed from everything you’ve ever been through. Healing takes time so be patient with yourself while journeying through. Also, healing is not a one-time ordeal. You might find that you spend months working through the same thing. Know that this is ok.
6. Work on Loving Yourself
Self-love is truly the best love. When you love yourself, the quality of your life improves. When we have unhealed wounds, loving ourselves can be a challenge. The way we show up for ourselves when we have self-love versus when we don’t is completely different.
I spent years not loving myself or even knowing who I am and it negatively impacted my life. Me not loving myself showed up in everything I did as well as the people I surrounded myself with.
A part of healing is learning who you are and learning to love yourself.
Beginning to Heal
These are just a few ways you can start doing the work. While doing the work, extend compassion towards yourself. Learn not to pass judgment for the things that might come up for you. Learn your triggers and how to manage them.
Healing is both beautiful and messy. There will be many ups and downs. Some days you will feel worse than you did before you started. Other days you will be filled with so much love and light. It’s all a part of the process.
It’ll be hard and you might not notice a difference in the beginning but stay the course. Over time, you will notice improvement.
Something else my therapist recently mentioned is that you can think you’ve healed from something and have it still come up for you. There are plenty of things that still come up for me that I thought I’d completely worked through. It’s ok if you’ve thought you healed from something and a certain part of you gets triggered again.
On this journey, we must envision what a life filled with freedom, peace, ease, and happiness looks like. On the days when you feel like giving up, hold this vision close.